Thursday, June 28, 2007
After an early start, Diego and I set out on our ‘tod’ (where were you guys?) from the usual meeting point, the Jardín bar/restaurant in Castalla at 09.30.
We went from Castalla to Biar, through to La Cañada and then off to Benejama up through the mountains to Fontanars. We crossed with loads of cyclists but not many bikers (I was getting a bit worried at that stage!).
As you get to the top of the Fontanars valley there is beautiful view so we got a photo of that one!
Riding into Fontanars, we saw signs for ‘motos’, at which point we breathed a sigh of relief.
As we drew up to the area that had been set aside for the occasion, we saw 2 very long rows of motorbikes of all shapes and sizes.
We immediately enrolled and were given a t-shirt, a cap, a raffle ticket for various biking goodies (no Harleys I’m afraid) and a pass card for the ‘blue’ team. We also purchased breakfast and lunch tickets at the moderate price of 15€ a head and picked up our sandwich and drink and went to sit at the long trestle tables that had been (wisely) set up under the beech trees.
After a tasty Serrano ham sandwich and getting to know some of the locals who were delighted to have all the bikers there, we joined the blue team for a ride out around the ‘bodegas’ of the area.
The ride was lovely, it’s a really beautiful area and being a Saturday, there was hardly any traffic. We stopped at the first wine cellar only to find that the guy who was supposed to be showing us around had overslept the night before because he runs a café in the town and closed at 4 am (oh, the joys of mobile telephones!)! So we set off to the next one and had a guided tour which ended with the tasting of wines and cava.
The second bodega was equally interesting and at the third, we discovered even more things we didn’t know about wine producing and, guess what? Second bout of tasting! Just as well it was right next to the town!
This took us up to the magnificent paella that was prepared for 1,500 portions and enjoyed by all. To give you an idea of how big the pan is, see the crane needed to winch it up onto the lorry that carted it back to a town near Valencia!
Over a long lazy lunch we got to meet the health service staff who were covering the event and kindly let us take their photo. They wanted the ambulance in it so nobody was left out!
After a stroll around the town and a cup of coffee at a bar in the town, we headed our way back passing the Foncalent prison via Villena.
For those who wanted to stay on, there was entertainment until the early hours of the morning with a dance in the main square of the town.
Verdict: A thoroughly enjoyable day out and really friendly people running the event, well worth going to.
Go here for the rest of the photos.
Monday, June 25, 2007
Sensational! 2nd ''Megaevent'' in Katar
EXCLUSIVE OFFER, limited places
09 to 14 November 2007!
You have the unique chance to get one of the exclusive places for this event. It’s an amazing experience, which maybe you can realize only once in your life-time.
Experience the final race of the Endurance World Championship for motorbikes and then ride on one of the newest and safest race tracks in the world!!!
The first event in Qatar was a big success, the second will be even better!
- Return flights to Doha/Qatar
- 5 star luxury accommodation, Hotel Ritz-Carlton in Doha.
- Live at the Endurance World Championsship races
- Paddock Passes
- 4x4 Desert safari
- 2 full trackdays including race prepared Yamaha R6's
- Full support from the D'Antin technicians
- Full time professional support and guidance throughout the event.
- 2 days racing school (to book separately)
Please click here for information ;
Infos Katar II (http://www.motopromex.de/Katar2/Katar2EN.htm)
Héctor Pérez & Karl Rehm
Saturday, June 23, 2007
Friday, June 22, 2007
Thursday, June 21, 2007
'It has been nice to start here, at John O' Groats. Making the effort to come up has been fantastic, well worth it.'
Long Way Down
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
MAPFRE seems to be showing as the cheapest and best quality insurer on comparative web sites but Tour and Track has managed to consistently offer a cheaper and equally high quality insurance policy. It seems that if you negotiate you can get a better deal. It is also apparent that the combined buying power of a club is much more useful in achieving reductions in costs.
Another influencing factor over the cost of bike insurance is if you insure your car, house, life or whatever with the same broker and in these circumstances you can usually save enough in the cost of your other insurance policies to pay for your bike insurance. In Spain you need to think of the whole insurance package.
Now there are plenty of bikers hanging on to their UK registration to insure their bikes in the UK and despite the questionable legality of this who can blame them?
So what is your experience with insurance? Is the UK the cheapest for bikers insurance in Europe? Add your comments below.
Monday, June 18, 2007
Unfortunately the day started to be wet before we left. Several of the group persuaded Sue that although wet stuff was falling down it wasn't rain (Sue doesn't drive in the rain) and she could still go for a ride. With this settled we decided to visit Aigues but Bruce planned a separate route more suited to his quad. Having set off, the biking group promptly went to El Campello. This was because of a wrong turning and more of the wet stuff coming down. The stop in El Campello was at K'Joan & Milu's Moroccan bar (wrong time for belly dancing and too wet anyway). Unfortunately we had no means of communicating with Bruce who may still be trawling the bars in Aigues looking for wet and lost bikers.
Sue had a brilliant idea for the route back. The only trouble was that it was track-like and more normally commandeered by goats rather that bikes. However, there was very little traffic and the scenery was fantastic. It also meant that there were a few very honoured people that were able to witness a very rare sighting; dirt on Barry's bike!! Perhaps it was cruiser country as Alan and Pat seemed to enjoy.
So for the sorries...
Sorry to Bruce for loosing him again.
Sorry to Ivor and Barry for no speed and no distance
Sorry to Sue for the wet stuff
Having recently gotten into the biking idea (if you can't beat em join em), I'm adding some "girls bike too" perspectives which affect the normal boys stuff of "lets put in a lot of mileage and hoon up the speed whenever we can!" Tracks have nice scenery and blossoms on the wayside which are pretty to see and smell wonderful, so at any given chance I do try to divert for blossom smelling. Market stopping is good too, but I think that might be pushing my luck. (Aigues has a Sunday one that I kept quiet about!!)
Saturday, June 16, 2007
I NEED TO KNOW URGENTLY IF YOU ARE GOING SO THAT I CAN BOOK THE PLACES.
E-mail me at email@example.com
If you plan to stay overnight then bring a sleeping bag.
The details of the Fontanars dels Alforins Rally on Saturday 23-06-07 there is a motorcycle rally in Fontanars dels Alforins. It is 7 € with breakfast and 8 € with breakfast and dinner. Let me know if you are going so I can reserve the places. The planned events are:
- 09:30 – Inscripciones Regalo de la Peña - Sign in and Gift from the Club
- 10:00 - Almuerzo – Breakfast
- 11:30 - Ruta por las bodegas del pueblo - Ride out to local Bodegas
- All Day - Exposición y pruebas motos BMW - Exhibition and try outs of BMW bikes
- 15:00 - Paella gigante - Giant Paella
- Actividades varias y divertidas - Lots of entertaining activities
- 17:00 - Sorteo de los esponsors - Draw for sponsors gifts
- 17:30 - Feria gastronomica y Fin de fiesta - Gastronomic Fair (food) and end of fiesta
- 24:00 - Verbena - Evening village Fiesta
- QUE QUIERAN QUEDARSE A DORMIR TRAER SACO, TENEMOS ZONA CERRADA CON COLCHONETAS
- Those that want to stay overnight can stay in a local school on matresses – bring a sleeping bag.
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
by Will Kemp
As Sunday 10th was the second Sunday of the month, T´n´T had another run organised for a start time of 0930. Just so happened that there was a Classic vehicle, well, cars and bikes, display followed by a nice shortish route run. This was to have left at 0830 so I was on the road by 0700 for the hour or so ride to Castalla.
It just has to be much the same as an organised do back in Scotland, the sky was full of heavy, wet looking clouds and the same thoughts, shall I go and get wet or put the feet up. I did the only thing that was right, went back to bed, no I didn´t!! Took a chance and went for it. I took the KKTriumph this time as the Honda gives me a sore back on longer journeys. Had enough petrol to get to the big town. 4 € worth filled the tank! On the way, it was a case of watching the clouds and also looking at the side of the road for our friends dog that went missing a few weeks ago. No ´deid dugs´and no wet stuff either!
Into Castalla and the search for the ´town hall´.(rally HQ). Luckily there was a couple of bikes pulling out of a garage, so just took a chance and followed them. Very handy cos they went to the right place with no wrong turns or detours. Parked in amongst the bikes and spotted 3 or 4 members of T´n´T. Got the camera out to take some photos and the bl66dy lens thing wouldn´t come out to play! Found out later when I got home that it helps to charge the battery now and again! ooops! Mobile phone came in handy and took some shots of a few bikes etc, quality not as good but still a little view of what was there. When the air horn went off, everybody got on their bikes and made some noise. The majority of the bikes were 2 strokes and it could well have been a Bultaco meeting. One of the photos shows a part of the entrants waiting to go and when they did finally move off, you should have seen the smoke haze that was left behind. Reminded me of another smoke haze from way back in the 60´s and it wasn´t 2 stroke!!
I didn´t go on either run as the clutch on my bike was really not quite right. When letting it out, it was like the plates had got warped or the springs had moved (thats a good explanation eh!) There was only one bike that didnt get a good start with the others, the MV riden by Javi another TnT Club member, wouldn´t start. It finally went after having the plug in and out, fuel checked and I think,the Ignition turned on! Sounded nice though.
The usual coffee and then the ride back. Slightly miscalculated the mileage, as I had to go on to reserve well before the big town. I had passed a few service stations on theway, but thought there was enough. Luckily enough, when the engine did stop, I was only a few hundred yards away from the garage and managed to coast most of the way. Then the red face part, pushing!!! 7 € worth this time, switched on to find no oil light or head lights, now what? It had rained on the way back which was bad enough, but then running out of petrol and then no electrics.... Not saying that I´m a good mechanic or whatever, but as most classic bike owners have had to do their own maintenance, repairs etc, you get to know roughly what and where the problem could be. Turned out that one of the wires from the battery had decided to part company with it,leaving no supply to the ignition switch. That was fixed and off again on the last leg. The handling then started to go funny, stopped at the side of the road and pulled and pushed at the forks and back wheel to see if anything had come loose, seemed ok with those rough and ready checks so off again. The last village before ours has a garage and thought I would try the tyre pressures.
Well they were ok when I started in the morning!! a little deflated here though. With them both pumped up, I finally made it up our mountain without any more problems, phew!
Again, a nice run there and back even with the wee troubles and worth it for the Classic show.
Thursday, June 07, 2007
Sunday, June 03, 2007
Saturday, June 02, 2007
Friday, June 01, 2007
So what is a Treffen? Treffen is a German word meaning friendship and is used by Goldwingers all over the world for their rallies.
Lorna and I were involved with the Treffen committee in the UK; we would go to the Treffen site and help other volunteers to build the site ready for the weekend. This would include erecting marquees, bars toilets etc ready for the many Goldwingers who attend such meetings all over the world.
We decided to go to the Dutch Treffen as we had met some friends from the Goldwing Club (GB) whilst they were in Spain on holiday in early May.
We sold our Goldwing, trailer and all our camping equipment when we came to live in Spain 5 years ago, so rang the Dutch Goldwing Club for hotels in the Kronenberg area of Holland. We were told that all the hotels in the area were full; we were disappointed with this so emailed our friends to tell them we would not be going to Holland.
Tony and Helen ride a magnificent yellow Goldwing outfit and tow a trailer tent, they assured us that it was not a problem and would bring an extra tent and camping equipment with them for us to use, so that solved that problem and our trip was back on.
So with our 1800 Goldwing packed to the gunnels we set off on Monday 22nd of May bound for Kronenberg in the south of Holland.
The 1800 Goldwing can certainly eat up the miles and is very happy cruising at high speeds. It has cruise control but I don’t use it much as I like to feel in control of the bike. With intercom and music into your helmets and a very comfortable riding position you soon use up the tank full of fuel, and 300 k’s later we were pulling in for fuel and a welcome coffee.
So at the end of day one, we were in Perpignan, just over the Spanish border, we could have carried on but with a hotel pre-booked and a cold beer calling we called it a day. A great days travelling with about 7 hours on the bike and a good distance covered.
The weather looked great so we set off after a continental breakfast (what no bacon?) and what the French call coffee. We were soon eating up the kilometres, our plan was to get to Nancy in France by mid afternoon, We were soon in Lyon and passing through the long fume filled tunnel, if you have rode through that one you will know it well, it must be the biggest health hazard of the journey. You can taste the fumes for ages after. We soon found that we were having a great days travelling and decided to get a bit further up and we ended the day in a very nice hotel in the centre of Metz very close to Luxembourg, we do try and get hotels in the centre of towns, this gives a chance for a bit of sight seeing and a better choice of eating out. Having never been to Metz we had a walk around and found a beautiful old town with cobbled streets and lovely old buildings.
We were away without breakfast having decided to eat later, we stopped in Luxembourg at a motorway service area. The service area was packed with about 5 coaches of Dutch pensioners on their way home, we were soon engulfed by the oldies (bless ‘em) with many questions which we couldn’t understand but did our best, you do tend to get a lot of this when you ride a Goldwing as many people ask the normal questions. How fast does it go? What is the weight? And is it easy to ride?
With breakfast over we were soon into Belgium and out on the open motorway. We could not believe the amount of lorries on the road between northern France, Luxembourg and Belgium at times it was a bit frightening with so many of them around you. I drove HGV’s for 25 years but they seem a lot bigger now and the sheer numbers was amazing.
As we rode down the motorway heading for Holland the weather was quite chilly and we soon pulled over for extra clothing, it was quite misty, the motorway was very quiet and the cruise control came into good use, there is a severe lack of service stations along this motorway into Holland and when the fuel light came on I was thinking we may have to pull off to find fuel, but we managed to get to a service station.
The fuel prices here in Spain maybe on the up but at 1.51 € this was the most expensive yet. In Spain if I fill up when empty its approx 22 € in this one it was 31 € so quite a big difference.
That afternoon we arrived in a town in Holland called Venlo, very close to the Treffen site, as it was quite early we had a ride to Kronenberg to find out where the actual site was.
We never did find it as it was on the outskirts of a small village so rode back to our hotel via a trip up the road to ride into Germany. We were well in front of ourselves and very happy with our trip up having covered 2,350 kilometres in 17 hours riding time.
As we couldn’t get onto the Treffen site until 12 noon we had a walk around Venlo and did a bit of shopping, one of the good things about shopping when on a loaded bike is you haven’t much room so had to keep the shopping down to a minimum. Anyway we would be buying at the Treffen so needed all the spare room. (Bless her)
So it was up to Kronenberg for the Treffen and meet up with our friends who had come overnight to the Hook of Holland on the ferry from Hull. This done we pitched our tents and got set up ready for the weekend. In Holland it seems to be more of a family occasion and I would think that maybe 50% of the bikes were outfits. I have never seen so many outfits at a Treffen.
Day’s 5 and 6
All in all there were approx 1200 Goldwings on site from all over Europe, bikes from UK, Spain, Italy, Germany, Holland, Poland, Norway, Denmark, Austria and Switzerland. Excellent on site facilities always help make the weekend, the toilets and showers were some of if not the best we have ever seen at a Treffen and with some great music on every night and great catering facilities all made an excellent weekend.
We rode into the local town of Sevenum a few times and all the locals enjoyed their town being invaded by the bikes.
Due to my daughter arriving in Spain on the Tuesday we had to leave early and departed from the Treffen site on the Sunday morning, unfortunately it was raining very heavily, this rain continued for hours and it was not the best riding conditions, luckily the traffic was light and we managed 1140 k’s that day and arrived in the town of Nimes at approx 6 in the evening. What fantastic timing that was as it was the towns fiesta and after finding a small but expensive hotel we watched the bull running up the main street, once again it started to rain and we found a restaurant and had a very nice meal and back to the hotel for an early start in the morning.
8 o’clock saw us leaving the hotel, we had not gone 2 k’s and it started to rain, only light rain and much to our relief we left it behind us and carried on in cool but dry conditions.
All went well until we got to Andorra and then we rode into very high winds, this reduced our speed down to approx 60 k’s an hour, caravans were stopping on the motorway, we followed a coach at one stage and the wind was lifting the back wheel off the road, we carried on for about 2 hours in this wind and at one stage I did consider pulling off and hoping it would die down, luckily we rode out of it and once again set off at a good cruising speed.
We arrived home on Monday evening at 7 o’clock, tired but we both enjoyed our weekend and both enjoyed riding our bike through 5 different countries, we covered 4535 k’s in approx 36 hours riding time, we spent 391 euros on fuel and spent 181 euros on tolls.
I think and hope that we avoided the many speed cameras en route (unlike the one at Albacete) and are now planning our next Treffen trip which should be the Italian in July.
In my opinion the Goldwing GL 1800 is the ultimate touring machine, I have owned a 1200, 1500s and now the 1800 and have covered many miles over the last 8 years and find them very comfortable and enjoyable, they are a heavy bike but very easy to ride. A lot of bikers seem to knock and ridicule them but don’t knock it until you have tried it.
Gold Wing Club Holland